Investing in Urban Agriculture – What’s Up in Detroit?

Many folks on SCLT’s staff are enthusiastic about the exciting programs going on in Detroit, Michigan, around urban agriculture. A few of us have even visited to see the community gardens and agricultural education programs, and have been greatly impressed by all the green headway.

Recently at SCLT, there’s been some interesting lunchtime discussion around a Fortune article highlighting a new and somewhat controversial investment in Detroit’s urban agriculture .

A gentleman named John Hantz recently announced his intention to buy over 70 acres of land inside the city of Detroit, MI, for urban agriculture use. That’s right: $30 million invested in an urban agriculture enterprise.

While it’s exciting to see so much funding going into urban agriculture, there seem to be some big questions about this new enterprise. Some think that the investment is a compelling way to revitalize Detroit and explore new technologies that could increase urban food production. Others see the venture as oblivious to promoting food security and the current work being done by Detroit community organizers.

Folks over at, weighing in on the subject, say:

“Perhaps I spent too much time with developers and real estate people in my architectural career, but Hantz has said it all in Fortune, from his first comment about sopping up excess land and creating scarcity to his last quote about buying a penthouse in New York. This sure sounds like a classic real estate play to me. But if it takes unused land in a temperate part of the country with lots of water and people who need jobs, and grows local and healthy food, go for it. That’s the American way and it works.”

What are your thoughts?


One Comment to “Investing in Urban Agriculture – What’s Up in Detroit?”

  1. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this brilliant blog!
    I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding
    your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this website with my
    Facebook group. Talk soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: